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Expert Advice: Neal Courtney | CEO and franchisor | Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids

Setting Up a

Multi-Unit Opportunity While signing any development deal is an exciting step in launching your franchise opportunity, a key to rapid growth is signing multiunit deals. It is valuable to have a variety of deal sizes, ranging from one to 10 or more locations, but having a majority of multi-unit deals fall into the 3-10 location range can help propel your brand to new heights faster than you imagined. For Cookie Cutters, our secret ingredient to success has been the amount of multiunit development deals we sign. Typically, we do not sign deals that are less than three units. Due to this business practice, we’re now the largest children’s hair salon in the competitive space. When deciding to offer a multi-unit franchise opportunity there are a few

“Multi-unit franchise deals and area developers are key to a franchise’s success and rapid growth.” Franchising USA

things to consider. While it can be the key to success and rapid growth, it can also be part of your failure if you do not prepare accordingly.

Finding the Right Partners As with anything in franchising, finding the right franchise partners is crucial. For multi-unit deals especially, you have to ensure that the franchisees will uphold their entire agreement and truly become brand advocates utilizing their large foot print. I advise you to find franchise partners who are financially ready and perhaps have business experience, whether in franchising or otherwise. These will be your best partners for those large multiunit deals. As a caveat, it is important to source franchise partners who are passionate about the brand, especially for smaller multi-unit deals. We sign many 3-unit deals with new entrepreneurs, families and couples just looking for a new opportunity. They become our best multi-unit franchisees because they are eager, handson and truly depend on their own success.

Multi-Unit vs. Area Developer My wife and I started out as multi-unit franchisees with Cookie Cutters, before becoming area developers and eventually

purchasing the franchise from the founders and becoming the CEO and COO. The distinction between multi-unit franchisees and area developers is often murky and that’s because it depends on the specific contract. Multi-unit franchisees have signed on to open several units, but may not have a specific territory. Area developers have signed on for a territory but may not open units directly. Multi-unit franchisees are hands-on, building the business on the ground. Area developers can serve as an extension of your development team. They are looking for franchisees in their territory to develop it and open units. With area developers you essentially pass on the franchise development responsibilities to them, trusting that they will open the expected units either personally or through franchise sourcing. To determine if you will offer both development deals or one or the other, look at your expansion targets and progress. Could you benefit from an area developer joining the team? Area developers are often local to that particular territory and can help if you are entering a new market. Do you already have a strong presence in a market but want to add a few more stores? A multi-unit franchisee who is looking for a new opportunity can be the perfect

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Franchising USA is a monthly consumer publication bringing you all the latest news, expert advice, and information from the world of franchi...


Franchising USA is a monthly consumer publication bringing you all the latest news, expert advice, and information from the world of franchi...